Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Teatime with Brandy: Marinades and Sides from Wild Garden

Recently, Brandy has been looking for ways to spice up her home made brunch dishes.  "I'm just getting a little bored of regular old eggs and bacon and pancakes.  Time for something new and exciting!" she grumbled to herself.  Thinking thusly, she was on the lookout while shopping at her local Jewel when she came across something near the meat section; a row of intriguing looking pouches from a company called Wild Garden.

Turns out, Wild Garden had released a line of quick marinades and heat-and-serve pilafs that were simple to use while adding a bit of Mediterranean flavor to otherwise unremarkable dishes.  The marinades don't require any prep work other than dousing one's chosen protein in them immediately before cooking, while the pilafs all simply required about 90 seconds in the microwave.  "These might be just the ticket to make my brunch dishes more exciting," Brandy exclaimed.

First, Brandy decided to create a simple Steak and Eggs dish with the Turkish marinade and the Couscous, both of which were tomato based.  Following the advice on the marinade package to cover her steak and cook immediately, Brandy placed her flavor encrusted New York strip in a pan and seared it to medium perfection.  Meanwhile, she cracked an egg into the couscous before setting it into the microwave to cook.  What she ended up with was an incredibly flavorful steak, a perfectly poached egg, and a hearty bed of couscous, which certainly made for an intriguing brunch.

Impressed by just how much flavor the meat had taken on from the marinade, she next turned to the Shawarma flavor and the Rice and Lentil side.  Deciding to try for a kebob-style dish, she took some thick cut bacon and dipped it into the marinade (which had an almost curry like flavor) and then threaded the meat onto skewers along with some par-boiled marble potatoes and cremini mushrooms, and then she roasted the lot in the oven.  The result was a smokey, spiced, hearty combo that went perfectly over the rice and lentils, which had been flavored with caramelized onions.  "Next time, I'm taking these beauties out to the grill!" Brandy exclaimed.

Lastly, Brandy decided to use the Persian marinade to re-invent chicken and waffles.  She took chicken tenderloins and doused them in the aromatic and herbaceous marinade, then coated them in waffle batter (made by adding milk and an egg to a pre-made pancake mix) and pan-fried them until golden brown.  The batter took on the flavor of the marinade as well, giving it a rich color and a light crispness that perfectly emulated a waffle.  She served this along side the Bulgar side, which had been flavored with a mix of spices and herbs that matched the flavor of the chicken extremely well.

"This is exactly what I hoped for," Brandy said, contentedly, "A simple thing that sparks the imagination towards an infinite possibility of dishes without a lot of added work.  I think I may need to make another trip to Jewel to stock up on some more of these lovely products!"

The writers of this blog were send products free of charge in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

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